Ten of the 13 youth clubs and organizations from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut Thursday expressed their enthusiasm about joining joined the Major League Soccer Elite Youth Development Platform.

These comments are provided by MLS.

In alpabetical order:

Beachside of Connecticut SC – Norwalk, Conn.

“The conversation and collaboration that has and will continue to take place is transformational and a game changing moment for youth soccer development in our country. This MLS elite youth development platform that has transpired from these discussions and cooperation will influence the whole landscape of youth soccer from bottom to top. With the leadership and support of Major League Soccer, and the contributions from grassroots clubs, we are finally on our way to truly becoming a soccer country.” – Mickey Kydes, founder and technical director

BW Gottschee – Queens, NY

“BW Gottschee is excited to participate in the new MLS national platform highlighting a players first approach. The league will uphold the highest standards and principles, which will all align with our long-standing history of player development. This will be the highest level of competition in the US. Our players are looking forward to the challenge and opportunity.”

Cedar Stars Academy – Bergen, NJ

“Cedar Stars Academy – Bergen is very excited to be part of the elite youth development platform. I think this platform will allow us to compete at the highest level of youth soccer within the United States. We strive for competition for our players and I believe this league will undoubtedly give us that. We are proud to be founding member and look forward to collaborating with other like-minded clubs to develop the next crop of professional and collegiate players.”

Cedar Stars Academy – Monmouth, NJ

“Cedar Stars Academy – Monmouth is very excited to be part of MLS’s elite youth development platform as a founding member. This league will allow our players to compete at the highest level of youth soccer in the US and we look forward to working closely with like-minded clubs to develop the next generations of professional and collegiate players.” – Phil Swenda, Academy director

Empire United – Rochester, NY

“Under the new guidance of MLS, our coaches, support staff, and ultimately our families here at Empire United are extremely excited for the future of player development in this country. We are proud to represent Western New York at the highest level of youth soccer in the United States. Competing every weekend against MLS-youth opposition and the top like-minded amateur clubs is an essential piece to the player development cycle. With the platform and resources provided to us by MLS, the training environments and playing standards in this country will continue to improve exponentially. MLS and their desire for a collaborative approach represents their desire to push the envelope of improvement and inclusion and we couldn’t be more excited about the future.” – Rory Charcholla, Boys Academy director

Metropolitan Oval – Queens, NY

“The goal of MLS and Elite Academies is aligned to create the premier platform for the development of world class youth players. By providing a bespoke pathway to the professional game, this union will kick off a new era in elite talent development.” – Jeffrey Saunders, sporting director

New York City FC – Bronx, NY

“We’re excited for the NYCFC Academy to be a founding member of the newly created partnership between MLS academies and elite youth soccer clubs throughout the U.S. and Canada. In only five years, our Academy has seen unprecedented success and offers a proven professional pathway for area youth. We look forward to continuing to be leaders in producing the next wave of soccer talent here in the Tri-State region and this partnership will only strengthen our ambitions as an Academy and push Major League Soccer towards its stated goal of becoming one of the top leagues in the world.” – Liam Manning, Academy director

New York Red Bulls – Harrison, NJ

“We at New York Red Bulls Academy are excited to be a part of the MLS elite youth development platform. We feel that the new structure will allow us to continue to compete against the best MLS Academies as well as provide more international competition as a true benchmark of our progress against some of the best Academies in the world. The structure will also allow us to continue to play against some of the best non-MLS Academies as we continue to work together to grow the game and develop top young talents for the future.” – Sean McCafferty, Academy director

New York Soccer Club (NYSC) – New York, NY

“As a founding member of this new MLS platform, NYSC is excited and proud to be part of a new era in player development in this country. All of the top players and clubs will be in one platform competing on a weekly basis which will keep pushing players and clubs to be better. The collaborative approach MLS has taken with the amateur clubs by establishing working groups to provide recommendations on the technical framework will ensure clubs will have their voices heard.” – Christian Gonzalez, Academy director

TSF Academy – Wayne, NJ

“Under the new platform created by Major League Soccer and guidance, we can only see a huge benefit for our players in their overall development. The level of competition in our region has always provided good challenges but we feel the new platform will create a genuine purpose and drive behind competition – leading to the challenges that the players need to face in their development.”